Cheryl Barnes, Largest Voice the World Forgot | Habari Gani, America!

The first time I heard Cheryl Barnes sing was at a Brooklyn theater where a group of friends and I went to see a 1979 highly advertised film, “Hair.” The music and choreography were amazing. It was filmed in New York, which made it ever so homey while full of energy. The leading cast was young and multicultural.

Image result for cheryl barnes

Leading with the cast, Cheryl Barnes ushers in the excitement that is Hair. Later on in the film a Black woman, played by Barnes, child in tow appeared giving context to the character LaFayette “Hud” Johnson, played by Dorsey Wright. She was the nameless fiance and represented all of the women and children left behind as our men took on the world. This representation may have been missed except for the voice that suddenly sparked, “Hooow Can People Be So Heartless…” The theater was torn. We were all captured and wanted more.

In the hunt for what became of Cheryl Barnes, I found that many bought the soundtrack to “Hair” just to get another moment of “Easy To Be Hard.” Over the years as I transferred the album to cassette and later bought a digital version, I often wondered why Barnes with such a strong voice disappeared from the stage considering her great talent.

This short bio was provided by IMDB (

“Cheryl Barnes – Raised in New Jersey, Cheryl has sang with groups such as the Classics Five and Ten Wheel Drive. She was also a back up singer for Genya Raven. Cheryl performed in Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” and on Broadway in last Sweet Days of Isaac, Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. She portrayed Deena, the handmaiden in Doug Henning’s “The Magic Show”.

You can experience the depth and breath of Barnes’s voice in her performance of “Solid Silver Platform Shoes” in “The Magic Show.”

Cheryl Barnes also had a single out, “Save and Spend” in 1977 during the Disco era.

There are various stories traversing the internet as to the history of Barnes, but one holds true. Barnes was also the original Effie in the stage production of  “Dreamgirls” on Broadway previous to Jennifer Holliday.

In 1987, Cheryl Barnes reappeared as a contestant on “Star Search,” hosted by Ed McMahon, winning $100,00 in the Female Competition.

Cheryl Barnes has many fans researching her past and present location. There are many conspiracy theories lurking about on the internet. This may be part of her charm along with an outstanding voice. We may have more to add to this posting, but we can only hope.

Lyrics to “Easy To Be Hard”

How can people be so heartless?
How can people be so cruel?
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold
How can people have no feelings?
How can they ignore their friends?
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no
And especially people
Who care about strangers
Who care about evil
And social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd?
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend
How can people be so heartless
You know I’m hung up on you
Easy to give in
Easy to help out
And especially people
Who care about strangers
Who say they care about social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend
How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

Self-Care for Black Women: A Photography Exhibit Focuses on What It Looks Like | The Root

More from The RootThe Beautiful Project

The Beautiful Project, a Durham, N.C.-based nonprofit, has launched an online exhibit—“The Self Care Exhibit: A Word and Image Act of Self-Preservation and Political Warfare”—to help us see, through a photographic collective, how that self-preservation Sister Audre was referencing takes shape. The organization has long empowered black girls by making them partners in reframing their images in the media, but this is the first time it is applying its unique artistic activism through photography to an issue specific to adult black women.

The concept emerged during a conversation in 2013 when Jamaica Gilmer, a professional photographer gifted in the art of storytelling with her lens, and fellow co-founders of the Beautiful Project, writer and educator Pamela Thompson and educator and activist Erin Stephens, led a discussion with their group of contributors.

via Self-Care for Black Women: A Photography Exhibit Focuses on What It Looks Like – The Root.

Is Natural Hair Going the Way of Fake Boobs and Tattoos? | Habari Gani, America!


Photo from Clarksville Natural Hair Show

I think.. (Notice I said, “I think.”) that the hair revolution of the 1960’s and 70’s also went the way of the revolution – down the drain. We had no follow through. It was mostly a fad in the populous with no real grounding in our African culture. Similar to naming our children African sounding (Notice – I said, “African sounding”) names during that era. The theories and dialogue were there, but some were not just visual, they are followers – drones. There are numerous examples out there and even more numerous closer to home.

The main ideal was to change our culture and the rest would follow. But the populace grows weary of the struggle and for the past 40 years at least most reverted back to a quasi-Africanism. Natural hair has become a fad for the wanna-bee conscious and a state of being for the conscious, similar to the dashiki. Whites wore dashiki’s too in the 1960’s, but it was a state of rebellion against “the man.” When Chris Rock‘s statement to Black women clamoring for natural Indian hair in his documentary, “Good Hair,” did he ever think that the craze would bring about the ample supply of synthetic African styled extensions? It is still a fad for most. They want to be in. But the first time that they are turned down for a job because of their locks, they fold, feel those insecurities deepen, and lose ground. It has to become an inner-force – a love affair with the African body. Right now, it is like fake boobs and tattoos. After 40 of my 57 years, – I am still waiting.

The Best New Way to Color Your Hair | Fab Over Fifty Style Blog

Hair salons are scrambling to keep you from learning about a new hair care company called

Hairdressers are infuriated about eSalon’s home service, according to eSalon’s Color Director Estelle Baumhauer. “I get angry letters saying, ‘How could you do this? Our clients are leaving us because of you!’”

via The Best New Way to Color Your Hair | Fab Over Fifty Style Blog.


Short Natural Hair: How I Refresh My Wash n Go (The In-Between Stage)

(I am not sure why the video ended the way it did)This video was recorded in 2010 and it demonstrates how I refresh my wash n go to achieve second day hair. Products used: Suave Naturals as my leave in, and Herbel Essences Set Me Up Gel as my styler. For more information visit:


Natural Hair: My Wash n Go Routine 2011

Natural Hair: My Wash n Go Routine 2011